Hollywood star Jackie Chan, one of the biggest cinema and martial arts icons based in Hong Kong, and among recognisable and influential film personalities in the world, has expressed interest to join the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). The 67-year-old has in the past come under sharp criticism for backing Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in the former British colony.
The actor, director and martial artist expressed his desire to join the CPC at a symposium in Beijing on Thursday in which Chinese film insiders spoke and shared their thoughts regarding the keynote speech delivered by President Xi Jinping at the centenary celebrations of the party on July 1.
At the symposium, Chan, also the vice-chairman of the China Film Association, spoke about his interest to join CPC, state-run Global Times reported on Monday. “I can see the greatness of the CPC, and it will deliver what it says, and what it promises in less than 100 years, but only a few decades," Chan said.
“I want to become a CPC member," he added. Chan has been supporter of the CPC for years and served as a member of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) - an advisory body of professionals nominated by the party.
Since 2013, Chan has been a pro-Communist politician, serving in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. After the Hong Kong electoral reform in 2021, Chan became an Election Committee’s member and could vote for the Chief Executive. Known for his slapstick acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, and innovative stunts, Chan has performed in more than 150 films, which have made him popular both in the East and the West.
The martial arts icon also drew sharp criticism in 2019 when he criticised pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “I have visited many countries, and I can say, our country has been rapidly developing in recent years. I feel pride in being Chinese wherever I go, and the Five-starred Red Flag’ is respected everywhere around the world," Chan said in an interview to China’s official media. “Hong Kong and China are my birthplaces and my home. China is my country, I love my country, I love my home. I hope that Hong Kong can return to peace soon, he had said in 2019.
After grappling with prolonged mass protests in Hong Kong opposing China’s control over the former British colony, Beijing took control of it by passing the National Security Law under last year which was tailor-made to crackdown against dissent. Under the new law which was criticised by US, EU and other countries, a large number of protestors and their leaders were arrested and jailed.